June 17, 2008
Fear is one of the fastest-acting tactics to motivate someone into doing something (It’s also one of the ones that wears off the quickest). Some religions use fear to motivate people to adherence, scaring them with the possibility of what would happen to them if they don’t adhere.
I was surfing YouTube and came across this video, put out by thisSt. Brigitta web site from Sweden.
Holy crap! Imagine a kid watching that! I once was taken by a friend to what was purported to be “like a haunted house, but it’s even scarier because its at an old church.” What it ended up being was a place called “Hellstop,” where church members put on a realistic outdoor walk-through of the fate of a car accident victim who hadn’t accepted Christ. The guests were escorted through the woods and into a mock “hell” complete with lakes of fire, Satan screaming at you from a throne, people in cages, etc. It literally scared the hell out of me as a kid. I thought I had to make sure I prayed extra hard so that didn’t happen to me.
When a non-Christian dies, exactly what is Hell supposed to be like? I would encourage readers to leave a comment as to what you think Hell would be like. Does the human spirit feel pain in Hell? If so, how, given the lack of a functioning central nervous system. Are inhabitants of Hell made to work for Satan? If so, what is Satan’s job? And what does the work entail? Is it like a prison chain gang, where rocks are broken and piled only to be knocked over and piled again? It doesn’t seem like this is a productive use of Satan’s workforce. Where is hell? Is it near the core of the Earth? If so, how does one retain any moisture in the body at 7,000 degrees Kelvin?
What’s Hell like in your mind?
March 25, 2008
Ana Elena Azpurua at Newsweek wrote an intriguing article about what may ultimately lead to the understanding of how the universe was created.
The biggest experiment in particle physics, the Large Hadron Collider, starts this summer in Switzerland. The goal is to find signs of an elusive particle called the Higgs boson—also known as the “God particle” because it might ultimately lead to a grand theory of the universe.
As we come closer to developing an ultimate theory of the universe, how will this impact religion?
As science explains more and more, there is less and less need for religious explanations. Originally, in the history of human beings, everything was mysterious. Fire, rain, birth, death, all seemed to require the action of some kind of divine being. As time has passed, we have explained more and more in a purely naturalistic way. This doesn’t contradict religion, but it does takes away one of the original motivations for religion.
Read the story here.
Here’s a video about the “God Particle.”
March 25, 2008
A new poll cited at the Florida Ledger finds that 82% of Americans say they believe in an afterlife.
A recent survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life showed that about 16 percent of American adults have no particular religious belief, including about 4 percent who identify themselves as atheists or agnostics. A 2007 Pew survey showed20 percent of adults ages 18 to 25 have no religious affiliation, almost double the percentage in 1986.
The number of 82% early in the article is not cited to a specific source. Assuming 18% of Americans do not believe in an afterlife, that flies in the face of the other statistics in the study because guess what? If you don’t believe in the afterlife, you don’t believe in religion. (The one exception here would be perhaps if you see Buddhism as a religion, in which case there is still an aspect of samsara or return to the world).
I was interesting in the number of 18%. It seems to make the non-religious community seem larger. It’s probably a more accurate number of non-religious people in this country. Whenever polled, the number of atheists will always remain low, like the 4% from the Pew Forum study because people don’t like to be labeled as atheists. They will say they’re not sure they believe in god, but if you call them agnostic, it bothers them. They may say they certainly don’t believe in god, but they won’t label themselves as an atheist because of its negative connotation. But regardless. If the 82% number is accurate, that means that almost a fifth of this nation doesn’t believe in the concepts of heaven and hell! That’s an incredible number.
18% of Americans
is equal to roughly 54 Million Americans
want immediate withdrawal from Iraq
do not own cell phones.
are drug/alcohol dependent.
of adults use Instant Messaging.
and get this one.
is equal to the estimated COMBINED population of Iraq and Afghanistan.
It’s a lot of people. Imagine if the combined population of Iraq and Afghanistan did not believe in an afterlife. I think that would significantly change things for the better. There are possibly that many people HERE in the U.S. who don’t believe in an afterlife.
March 10, 2008
CNN reports that the Vatican has announced that drugs, pollution and genetic manipulation have been added to the Catholic Churches “you’re gonna have to pay more now to get into Heaven” list.
When asked to list the new areas of sinful behavior, (Monsignor Gianfranco) Girotti denounced “certain violations of the fundamental rights of human nature through experiments, genetic manipulations.”
Also interesting was the fact that:
Girotti said the Catholic Church continued to be concerned by other sinful acts, including abortion and pedophilia.
He said Church authorities had reacted with rigorous measures to child abuse scandals within the clergy, but he also claimed that the issue had been excessively emphasized by the media.
Interesting, considering that some statistics show that 6% of Catholic Priests could be abusive. The Great Realization points out that this would mean 24,000 Abusive Catholic Priests!
Read more about the new sins here!
March 5, 2008
JERUSALEM – When Moses brought the Ten Commandments down from Mount Sinai, he may have been high on a hallucinogenic plant, according to a new study by an Israeli psychology professor.
Writing in the British philosophy journal Time and Mind, Benny Shanon of Jerusalem’s Hebrew University said two plants in the Sinai desert contain the same psychoactive molecules as those found in plants from which the powerful Amazonian hallucinogenic brew ayahuasca is prepared.
The thunder, lightning and blaring of a trumpet which the Book of Exodus says emanated from Mount Sinai could just have been the imaginings of a people in an “altered state of awareness,” Shanon hypothesized.
Read the story here.
I think they may want to talk to these people, who claim Moses never existed.